Leading Off

Kings should raise a flannel shirt to rafters

None of this happens without Gregg Lukenbill.

No purchase of the Kings in 1983 and relocation to Sacramento in 1985. No inclusion into the national sporting scene for a small-market city that produced a college fieldhouse home-court setting and record sellout streaks. No Arco I or Arco II. No retired jerseys for Mitch Richmond, Vlade Divac, Chris Webber or the Sixth Man in recognition of fan loyalty.

Lukenbill was the flannel-wearing developer and visionary who recognized that the Kansas City Kings were ripe for relocation, famously saying then that the NBA franchise lagged popularity-wise behind “the Royals, the Chiefs, golfer Tom Watson and indoor soccer.” Lukenbill sold his interest in the Kings in 1992 but remains a fan, delighted about what a new downtown will bring to the city.

As the Kings celebrate 30 years in Sacramento by recognizing players from yesteryear, including Reggie Theus, LaSalle Thompson and Terry Tyler on opening night, why not one additional step? Why not retire a flannel shirt that bears Lukenbill’s name and raise it to the rafters?

Lukenbill was a guest of honor at the downtown arena groundbreaking and in the opener against the Warriors with a courtside seat. Make him a permanent flannel fixture.


What to watch

NBA, Kings vs. Trail Blazers, 7 p.m., CSNCA: Sacramento plays a playoff-caliber team looking for its first win of the new season.

What to do

High school football, Rio Linda at Inderkum, 7 p.m.: Longtime area powers meet in a crucial Tri-County Conference game.

Today’s poll

Poll results

Should the Giants do all they can to re-sign Pablo Sandoval?

▪ Yes, he’s a key to the team’s success: 55%

▪ Only if it’s a three-year contract: 30%

▪ No, he’ll eat his way out of the lineup: 14%

Total votes: 190